A friend emailed me the other day and confided that after hearing so many “successful” people talk about the concept of playing small, she wondered if maybe we were. We’ve both chased big success and found that instead of finding that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, all we really did was lose ourselves.
So we have stepped back.
We are much less concerned with the size of our businesses, email lists, social media friend lists, and all of the other ways we used to measure our success. Instead we are finding what fulfills us and serves others.
Are we playing small or are we playing smart?
That’s the question my friend posed, because she honestly didn’t know anymore. She was confused.
I had to really stop and think about it myself for a moment.
Certainly, I’m not working with as many clients as I used to. I’m not making the big income I used to make. I’m not always thinking about, and doing things to grow my business like I did for so many years. Yes, I still work, but I’m enjoying the work I am doing, and life, a whole lot more. I’m happier and healthier. My life is just better. And, I am able to give the work I am doing, and the clients I do work with, much more focused attention. So I believe I’m serving my business, my clients, my family, and myself better.
Does that mean I’m now playing small?
Settling for less and withholding my gifts from the world?
I don’t think so.
Rather, I think we have to ask What is “small”?
Years ago, before I started going to personal development conferences and success seminars and hiring coaches, I never even considered that I was playing small, big, or anything in between. I was just playing my game. Living my life.
Yes, I’ve always been the type of person to live life to the fullest. To go for it. But that’s me.
Should I judge someone who is happy and satisfied with the status quo? I don’t think so.
It’s a personal choice. It’s not that big or small is right or wrong.
It’s about doing what feels right to you.
The idea of playing small was planted in my mind by the success industry.
And while it may have been meant to inspire or challenge me, in the end it did neither. Rather, it’s what led me to become spellbound, because ultimately, no matter what I did, I was always playing smaller than someone else. Which meant there was always more I had to be, do, and have.
I question the ENTIRE conversation about playing small.
I say we “play” however we want to play.
And we don’t label it big or small or anything else.
We do what we are called to do.
We stop measuring in terms of size and reach and dollars and instead we measure by the impact we have on each person we touch.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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